During peak times, I-70 can get very congested and it is not unheard of for a trip from Vail to Denver to take 3 hours or more. Peak times are weekend afternoons (2pm-6pm) both in the summer and winter. Plan accordingly and either leave in the morning, or leave Vail after 5pm in the winter. If you do leave after dusk, however, be warned that road conditions can get icy. If you are from a major metropolitan area, the drive may also seem very dark to you with virtually no highway lighting and no reflectors on the roadway. Due to the darkness, high beam laws are often ignored. You can get a snapshot of travel conditions on the Colorado Highway Patrol web site [http://cotrip.org].
If you are not experienced with winter driving conditions, you may want to think twice about travelling to Vail by rental car. Although most of the time you'll find the highway dry and perfectly fine, when it snows the road can get nasty. The ride from Denver takes you from 5,280' to the Eisenhower pass/tunnel at over 11,000'. After a steep drop to Silverthorne at 8,750' I-70 winds through Officer's Gulch which is notorious for black ice conditions, high winds and white out conditions when the weather is severe. I-70 then climbs over Vail Pass at 10,650' before the drop to the Vail Valley floor at 8,120'. If you are uncomfortable driving in the severe conditions that may occur on this drive, it is recommended that you spend a little extra money and employ one of the private charter services available in the Vail Valley. Note that although some Denver based companies also offered chartered service to Vail, their drivers often have limited experience in severe weather. Many Denver charter companies also use all season tires in the winter. If you do a little research, you should be able to find a reputable Vail based company that uses studded snow tires during the winter.
[[Image:Powder Day Vail Colorado USA.jpg|thumb|250px|Champagne Powder Day on Vail Mountain]]
Fly into '''Vail/Eagle County''' Airport or '''Denver International''' Airport. Note: Vail/Eagle County Airport is still about 35 miles from Vail, a shared ride in a Van from there to Vail will cost you about $
50 per person once you tip the driver. If you are travelling with your family or in a group, there are a number of private charter services that are also available. These are often more convienent than a shared ride service since they transport you door to door. Although you might think about renting a car, parking is expensive in Vail and most everything is in walking distance or a short ride away on the town's extensive free bus system. If you fly into Denver, you might think about renting a car, but you should be warned that the 100+ mile trip from Denver takes you over 2 mountain passes at elevations of 11,000 and 10,600 feet. The safest way to get from Denver Airport to Vail is to take a private chartered service such as All Mountain Transportation that employs experienced drivers that are familiar with the drive and road conditions .
Several carriers offer limo, van, or bus service to and from [[Aspen]], [[Denver]], and other cities in Colorado ($300 one-way), or the Eagle Vail airport ($100 one-way). '''Greyhound''' will be the cheapest at $
12- 30 one-way with advance purchase.
Most major car-rental firms are located in Denver and Vail airports.
===By bus and shuttle and Limo===
There a many free buses going throughout the Vail valley. For current schedules see: [http://ci.vail.co.us/subpage.asp?dept_id=46] .
Scheduled and chartered services are available from Denver International Airport and Eagle County Regional Airport:
*'''Black Diamond''', Eagle-Vail Airport (EGE) and Denver Airport (DEN) Transportation. 24/7: Car Service | Limo | Vail Taxi | Call: (970) 261-6509 Visit:[http://www.BlackDiamondsCars.com/]
*Eagle Vail Express, Vail Transportation, Shuttle and Limo Call +1 970-376-6284. [http://www.eaglevailexpress.com/]
*B-LineXpress, Toll Free: 1-800-423-0729 or Phone +1 970-390-2641. [http://www.aspenvaillimo.com/]
*Colorado Mountain Express, Toll Free: 800-525-6363 or Phone: ''+1 970'' 926-9800.
*'''Powderhound Transportation''' offers a shuttle service and transportation from Denver to Vail[http://www.ridethepowder.com/info/denver-to-vail] .
*<listing name="All Mountain Transportation" alt="" address="41199 US Highway 6" directions="" phone="970-949-9255" url="http://www.vailrides.com" hours="24/7" price="moderate" lat="" long="">A leading chartered ground transportation company offering private charters from 5 passenger SUV's to 28 passenger mini coaches.</listing>
* '''Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum''', [http://www.skimuseum.net/] - Might be interesting.
97 ( 2010 prices) a day too steep? Want to save some money? Well there ARE a couple of ways, but they are not easy:** The SkE Card - This used to be called the Colorado Card. Basically it is targeted at Colorado residents, but as far as I know residency is not a requirement. Rather they just make this available in October and early November at local Denver sporting goods stores (REI for example). You have to be present to get it. But it does get you some nice discounts on lift tickets (try $55 in 2005).** Colorado Pass - The Colorado Pass provides unlimited slope access at [[Breckenridge (Colorado)|Breckenridge]], Keystone and A-Basin, as well as 10 days' access to the lifts at Vail or Beaver Creek. The Colorado Pass costs $ 449 (2008). It is blocked out on certain dates . Available at the same times/places as the Ske Card.
** Ebay - Friends swear by this. Typically for $10 you can buy a 2 for 1 coupon that was issued somewhere in the country. There have been counterfeits so your mileage may vary.
Discounted tickets for Vail are no longer available at grocery stores on Denver as they once were.
Also, you should sign up for their "frequent skier" program called Peaks. You can attach a credit card, then you don't have to wait in line, just scan the card and voila your credit card is debited for a ticket. The points do add up if you have a family and you might get a day or two of free skiing out of it. A recent change where you get the points after a several month delay means that you won't be able to use them until your next trip. Just go to a ticket office before you do your first day of skiing to get one. If you have friends in Vail, and they have a season pass, they get 5 "Buddy Passes" that are 35$ each, so make some friends, and ski for less.
'''Avoid the Lines'''
* Breeze Ski Rentals (Lionshead Vail)
* Black Tie Ski Rentals
* Christy Sports
* Double Diamond Ski Shop (Lionshead)
* Black Tie - Which also offer full delivery service to your accommodation
* Breeze Rentals
* Christy Sports
* Double Diamond Ski Shop
Vail has an excellent child-care center for all ages of kids. For babies to toddlers, the nursery provides great, on mountain, care. As young as 3 years old the Ski School can really teach your kids to ski and give them a fun day too (and free you up to ski with your spouse). All this does not come cheap, but you get a good quality product and don't have to worry about your kids.
'''Ride the Gondola'''
The Gondola is free for foot traffic after
2pm. Before 2pm the ticket price is $ 24 for adults ( 2009). It is a good way to get the non-skiers and the kids up to the top.
'''Mountain Bike''' In the off season, Mountain Bike rentals and lift tickets are available for a reasonable cost. Ride the lift up to the top and bike your way down, taking in thrills, scenery, and encounters with wildlife. Trails are rated by difficulty and are well-maintained. It is certainly easy and fun to ride the gondola up and ride the bike down.
*'''Vail Bike Tech''' [http://www.vailbiketech.com] is located on the Lionshead Mall and offers mountain bike (and ski) rentals.
*'''Venture Sports''' [http://www.avonventuresports.com] Located in
Avone, Full service bike 970-949-1318
*'''Mountain Pedaler of Vail''' [http://www.mountainpedaler.com] is a great bike pro shop.
'''Trail Action Group ''' [http://www.trailactiongroup.com ] is a great trail (for biking and hiking] maintenance group. A great way to help build trails and meet local folks .
As of summer of 2005 it was $17 to ride the Gondola to the top of the mountain. At the top there is an outside bar with the worlds greatest view, and a pretty pricey grill (check times).
Hint: If you want a work out and want to save the $17 walk up to the top. The Gondola is always a free ride down! The hike will take you about 1-2 hours (depending on fitness). Take the Berry Picker trail from Lionshead.
'''Cotton Ranch Golf Club''', [http://www.cottonranchgolfclub.com]. Cotton Ranch is a golf community that welcomes the public. There is a restaurant that serves lunch every day and dinner nightly.
* <eat name="The Westside Cafe" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.WestsideCafe.net" hours="" price="">a Vail Restaurants staple. Do not miss this classic local's place.</eat>
* <eat name="Bart & Yetis" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">a favorite and a great place to find 3rd generation locals. Bart & Yetis is located in Lionshead Village, a short intown bus ride from the covered bridge.</eat>
* <eat name="Pazzo's Pizza" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.
itsblank.com /pazzos/" hours="" price="">A famous pizza joint in Vail.</eat>
* <eat name="The Tap Room at Bridge Street" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.taproomvail.com/" hours="" price="">Located on the second floor of the Vista Bahn Building, the Tap Room is a must for apres ski! Not only is it a nice place to go for a beer, but the food is worth a stop as well. Pretty inexpensive, the Tap Room typically has specials during the week such as all-you-can-eat wings--check the free local paper, The Vail Daily, for details.</eat>
* <eat name="Vendetta's Italian Restaurant" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.vendettasvail.com/index.html" hours="" price="">Typical Italian food for about $20 a plate. This place has been in Vail for 20+ years, so it must be doing something right.</eat>
* <eat name="Route 6 Cafe" alt="" address="41290 US HWY 6, Avon, CO 81620, United States" directions="Eagle-Vail area, after the west Vail exit, take exit 171 off 1-70, turn left on route 6 for 1 mile, this is between Beaver Creek and Vail" phone="" email="" fax="" url="vailroute6cafe.com" hours="" price="">
reat local breakfast and lunch place, also a gas station. On weekends the place fills up by 9AM, weekdays are usually no problem. </eat>
* <eat name="Minturn Saloon" alt="" address="146 Main Street, Minturn, CO 81645, United States" directions="" phone ="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.minturnsaloon.com/" hours="" price=""> remendous atmosphere Mexican restaurant in a town called [http://www.minturn.org/ Minturn] about 15 minutes drive from Vail. Prepare to wait for dinner, but thats OK cause the bar has a fireplace and serves margaritas (of course).</eat> * ''' Chili Willys''', [http://www.chiliwilly.com/]. Another Mexican restaurant in Minturn. Right across the street from the Saloon. More kid and family friendly. Not quite the atmosphere of the Saloon. But with kids go here!
* <drink name="The Club" alt="" address="" directions="top of Bridge St." phone="+1-970-479-0556" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Think fraternity party, that's the club.</drink>
* <drink name="
Garfinkle's" alt="" address="" directions="at the base of the gondola in Lionshead" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Great deck to enjoy the afternoon sun.</drink>
* <drink name="The George" alt="" address="" directions="at the Covered Bridge, Vail Village" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Good Irish style pub.</drink>
=== Budget ===
* <sleep name="Manor Vail Lodge" alt="" address="595 East Vail Valley Drive" directions="" phone="+1-800-950-8245" email="" fax="" url="http://www.manorvail.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Offers ski lodging accommodations including rooms, suites and condos, plus venues for weddings & meetings, dining facilities & vacation packages.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Lion Square Lodge at The Gondola" alt="" address="660 West Lionshead Place" directions="" phone="+1-800-525-1943" url="http://www.lionsquare.com/" >Property has hotel rooms, 1, 2, 3 and 5 bedroom condominiums. Many choose Lion Square Lodge because of its
convenient ski-in/ski-out accommodations. It offers a pool, hot tubs, a sauna, fitness center and free high-speed Internet.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Montaneros Condominiums" alt="" address="641 West Lionshead Circle" directions="" phone="+1-800-525-1891" url="http://www.montaneros.com/" >Property has 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom condominiums with full kitchens, a living room, a private balcony and a fireplace.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Antlers Condominiums and Conference Center" alt="" address="680 West Lionshead Place" directions="" phone="+1-800-843-8245
" email="" fax="" url="http://antlersvail.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="">150 yards from lifts. Pets accepted in some units, free high-speed internet.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Evergreen Lodge" alt="" address="250 S. Frontage Road" directions="" phone="+1-800-284-VAIL" email="" fax="" url="http://www.evergreenvail.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Between Lionshead and Vail Village. Free high speed internet.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Gore Creek Properties Vail" alt="" address="3971 Bighorn Road" directions="" phone="+1-800-967-3500" email="" fax="" url="http://www.gcpvail.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Condominium, private home, and townhouse rentals in Vail. Variety of price ranges.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Lodge at Lionshead" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.lodgeatlionshead.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="">
Luxury condominiums near gondola and ski school. Features heated outdoor pools, hot tub, saunas, fitness center, concierge services & free Wi-Fi.</sleep>
* <sleep name="The Savory Inn & Cooking School of Vail" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.savoryinn.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Gourmet breakfasts, hot tub, romantic rooms.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Vail Cascade Resort & Spa" alt="" address="1300 Westhaven Drive" directions="" phone="" tollfree="+1-800-282-4183" email="" fax="" url="http://www.vailcascade.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="">
A luxury, AAA Four-Diamond ski resort at the base of Vail Mountain along the banks of Gore Creek that features ski-in/ski-out accommodations, private condos, and vacation rentals. Other amenities and services include a luxury spa, meeting facilities, and fine dining options.</sleep>
=== Splurge ===
*<sleep name="The Lodge at Vail" alt="" address="174 East Gore Creek Dr" directions="" phone="+1-970-476-5011" url="http://lodgeatvail.rockresorts.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">If you have more money
then you know what to do with, this is the place. Located at the base of Vail Mountain, The Lodge at Vail combines the elegance and Old World charm of an alpine inn with the superb amenities and impeccable service found at the world’s finest hotels. The AAA Four Diamond Award-winning lodge features two restaurants, a 7,725-square-foot spa, exercise room, outdoor pool, piano bar, ski rental and ski storage.</sleep>
*<sleep name="The Sebastian - Vail" alt="" address="16 Vail Road" directions="Exit 176 from Interstate 70, Take Vail Road from the round-a-bout. The hotel is the first building on the left" phone="970-477-8000" url="http://www.thesebastianvail.com" checkin="4PM" checkout="11AM" price="$605+ (winter rates)" lat="39.642718357021394" long="-106.37815296649933">A recently built hotel and private residence club. Formerly the Vail Plaza Hotel, this hotel's amenities include flat screen HDLCD TV with
Premium Channels, iPod/iPad docking station, DVD/Blu-Ray players,a mini refrigerator, individually controlled HVAC and high speed wireless Internet access. On-site is a spa and three restaurants.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa" alt="" address="352 E. Meadow Dr" directions="" phone="+1-970-476-0700" email="" fax="" url="http://www.vailmountainlodge.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="">A cozy, beautiful boutique hotel
near the Covered Bridge. With 20 lodge rooms and seven two and three bedroom condominiums , it's easy to feel like a VIP, as the hotel staff makes an outstanding effort to learn names, interests, and inclinations every guest. Each lodge room features free wifi, a feather king bed or two feather queen beds, iPod docking station, a gas fireplace, heated stone tile floor in the bathroom, a large soaking tub and separate glass shower, and vanity with free AVEDA products. Condominiums are equipped with washer/dryer, sleeper sofa, spacious kitchens with premium appliances, and balconies for mountain-view units. Enjoy free access to the '''Vail Athletic Club''' [http://www.vailathleticclub.com], an 18,000 square foot state-of-the-art private facility within the hotel that includes a yoga studio, a pilates studio, cardio equipment, weights, Vail's only indoor climbing wall, steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi. Also available are two co-ed outdoor jacuzzis overlooking Gore Creek and the ski mountain. Also on property is the '''Spa at Vail Mountain Lodge''' [http://www.vailmountainlodge.com/spa], a full-service , world-class facility offering facials, massages, unique signature treatments, natural nail services and other scrubs and wraps. Make sure to ask about '''The Vitality Center''' [http://www.vailvitalitycenter.com], a new wellness center with renowned medical experts. One of Vail's top restaurants, '''Terra Bistro''' [http://www.terrabistrovail.com], is also located in the hotel and provides a large free breakfast to hotel guests during peak seasons (winter and summer) .</sleep>
* [[Beaver Creek]] Beaver Creek is right down the valley.
* [[Glenwood Springs]] - A beautiful 1 hour drive from Vail and you can enjoy their famous Hot Springs when you arrive.
* [[Colorado's Wine Country]] - Colorado is home to over 70 wineries and its own indigenous vineyards. Wine lovers can enjoy several scenic day trips from Vail to many of the small towns that grow their own grapes. These lovely little communities include [[Montrose (Southwestern Colorado)|Montrose]], [[Palisade]], [[Paonia]] and [[Hotchkiss]], as well as the city of [[Grand Junction]].
| majorl1=[[Grand Junction]]